In the depths of winter, we all wish for July. Now, it’s here. July—dare we say it—is the only truly summer month in the Northern Wilds. June is a dreary month of rain and cool temps. August brings diminishing daylight and the hint of autumn chill. July is the only month where you can count on having a few days hot enough to make you yearn for an air conditioning unit.
It’s hard to pack all of summer into one month, but folks throughout the Northern Wilds give it the old college try. In this issue you’ll find a plethora of summer events—art festivals, outdoor concerts, fishing contests, dragon boat races, canoe races, bikes races, a beer festival and more. In fact, paging through the events section of this issue, you might think the month of July is just one long party. Well, it can be if you want it to be.
Then again, there’s so much else to do in July that you may not find time to party. This is a great month to get on the water, as Lucas Will shows us in his story about stand-up paddleboards. Eric Chandler cranks up his courage to launch his kayak on mighty Lake Superior—on a flat calm summer evening. Javier Serna introduces us to a great July fishing hole—the Gunflint Trail’s Hungry Jack Lake.
July is also the month when we can enjoy the fresh bounty of local farms and gardens. Joan Farnam pays a visit to the Lakeview Dairy near Grand Marais. Kelsey Roseth talks with gardeners who supply fresh produce to families and restaurants. This is also the month when we celebrate the 100-year anniversary of another locally produced commodity—boards and specialty lumber from the Hedstrom Lumber Company.
Managing editor Erin Altemus takes us on a unique adventure—letter boxing, which is essentially an artistic twist on geocaching. Elle Andra-Warner goes a little farther afield—sea-kayaking off the coast of Vancouver Island. In her Strange Tales column, she tells us about the fascinating, and somewhat mysterious, pictographs found on the shores of Lake Superior.
We’ve packed a lot of stories and information into this issue, which at 80 pages is our largest ever. We must thank our advertisers for their strong support of Northern Wilds. They are truly the ones who make this publication happen. When doing business with our advertisers, please let them know how much you enjoy this publication.
And by all means, enjoy every moment of July. If you aren’t careful, it will be gone before you know it.—Shawn Perich and Amber Pratt